Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia
In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. Dwellings, troglodyte villages and underground towns – the remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century – can also be seen there. © UNESCO
2017 Conservation Outlook
However, implementation of the management plan is hindered by the lack of management unit inside the park and inadequate staffing for monitoring and controlling. There is a need for more research to define tourism carrying capacity in order to improve visitor planning and tourism management.
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Superlative natural features and spectacular landscape
There are also other threats such as transportation and energy infrastructure which re having negative impact on steppe ecosystem and landscape values of the park.
The tourism cannot be controlled all over the park due to inadequate number of staff. There is one manager in Nevşehir and one ranger at the park for daily monitoring of the whole park who have many other responsibilities (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
Transportation (road network) was defined as a high threat in RAPPAM 2009 assessment (Stanciu et al 2009).
There is illegal housing inside the National Park especially at residential areas.
At tourism destinations, visual integrity of the site has been impacted by infrastructure(IUCN Consultation, 2017).
In recent years, due to construction of irrigation dams and ponds in the region, the humidity has been increasing which accelerates the natural deterioration (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
No significant grazing has been reported in recent years (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
However, currently there is very low cooperation with local people (MOFW 2015, Güngör 2016).
Site managers, when it is required, meet with local people in order to receive their opinions about planned activities under management plan.
The management plan of the National Park was prepared in 1971 however there are inadequacies in implementation of the plan (MoFW 2015). The management plan was revised in 2013 (www.milliparklar.gov.t).
There are regional and environmental plans which include Göreme National Park. There is a 1/100,000 scale environmental plan prepared by Ministry of Environment and Urbanization which was approved in 2006 and renewed in 2013. The plan shows land use and environmental decisions outside the park.
The environmental plan report (MOFW 2015) states that there is cooperation of Municipalities under the name of Cappadocia Union in order to address the issue of constructions.
According to RAPPAM 2009 and management effectiveness report in 2015, management effectiveness of Göreme National Park is lower than average. There is no park management unit inside the park. According to RAPPAM 2009, the inventory, visitor management, staff management (training) of the area, number of staff and collaboration with locals are not adequate.
(UNESCO, Periodic Report, Cycle 01)
The strictly protected Zone 1 is the core of the Park. Zone 2 forms a buffer zone around Zone 1. (IUCN/WCMC Data Sheets, May 2011)
Rappam 2009 report stated that there was increased funding from the central government. Management Effectiveness Report in 2015 also stated that there is adequate annual funding from the central government (MOFW 2015). However, feasibility research and planning is required for an effective management of the budget.
Inadequate staffing was mentioned in RAPPAM 2009 assessment and this inadequacy was stated again in management effectiveness assessment conducted by Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs in 2015.
(UNESCO, Periodic Report, Cycle 01)
Since 2014, there is a declining trend in visitor numbers. According to DOSİMM statistics the visitor numbers are; 1,080,88 in 2014; 975,712 in 2015 and 509,131 in 2016. According to management effectiveness report in 2015, management of tourism and visitors including providing proper infrastructure is not effective. There is need of arranging facilities and control of tourism movement in the park.
The heavy pressure of mass tourism is also a threat. (IUCN/WCMC Data Sheets, May 2011)
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||Governorship (of Nevsehir)||Research studies are being carried out at the research centre in the governorship. The integration of the various conservation and development plans of eleven towns in the region may provide a solution within the management plan to be prepared in the near future in accordance with the revised conservation legislation. (UNESCO, Periodic Report, Cycle 01)|
|2||UNESCO/UNDP/ICCROM||A number of Cappadocia’s staff have received training at ICCROM in Rome. Studies have also been made locally on earth-sheltered housing, traditional water management and modern tourism. (IUCN/WCMC Data Sheets Jan 1988, updated 8-1995, 10-2007, May 2011)|
|3||A number of Cappadocia’s staff have received training at ICCROM in Rome. Studies have also been made locally on earth-sheltered housing, traditional water management and modern tourism. (IUCN/WCMC Data Sheets Jan 1988, updated 8-1995, 10-2007, May 2011)||Management of national park and visitors.|
||Safeguarding the Churches of Cappadocia, Turkey: Conservation of Rock Structures and Wall Paintings Project funded by Japan’s Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of World Cultural Heritage|
|5||Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs, Nevşehir Province Directorate||
||Architectural and landscape project for designing viewing platform, pedestrian roads.|
|6||Ministry of Culture and Tourism||
||Pazarbağları archaeological site landscape project.|
|7||Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs, Nevşehir Province Directorate||
||Renovation of tourism infrastructure.|
|1||Culcuoglu, G., Erkan, Y. and Karakul, O. UNESCO World Heritage Turkey, UNESCO Turkey National Commission, 2013|
|2||Güngör, Ş. 2016. The Effect of Protection Satutes on Protection-Use Balance: The Case of Zelve Open Air Museum (Nevşehir/Avanos). Gaziantep University Journal of Social Sciences, 15 (1): 205-223.|
|3||IUCN/WCMC Data Sheets Jan 1988 (updated 8-1995, 10-2007, May 2011)|
|4||International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Advisory Body Evaluation, 1985|
|5||Kentyapı Planlama. 2006. Kırşehir, Nevşehir, Niğde, Aksaray 1/100,000 scale environmental plan decisions, Ministry of Environment and Urbanism, Ankara.|
|6||MoFW. 2015. Site Management and Management Effectiveness in Göreme National Park. Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs Department of National Parks Division of Site Management, Ankara.|
|7||Somuncu and Yiğit, World Heritage Sites in Turkey, Ankara University, 2010|
|8||Somuncu, M. (editor), 2009. Türkiye’nin Dünya Miras Alanları Koruma ve Yönetimde Güncel Durum (in Turkish) (Turkey’s World Heritage Sites - Current Status of Protection and Management), UNESCO Turkey National Commission, Ankara.|
|9||Somuncu, M., Yişit, T. 2009. The evaluation of tourism from sustainability perspective in the world heritage of Göreme National Park and Rock Sites of Cappadocia. Vth National Geography Symposium Proceedings: 387-402, 16- 17 October 2008, Ankara.|
|10||Stanciu, E., Avcıoğlu, B., Lise, Y. 2009. Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Areas Management in Turkey: 2009 Assessment and 2005-2009 Comparison. WWF-Turkey, İstanbul, Turkey (in Turkish)|
|11||State of Conservation (SOC), UNESCO, 1988|
|12||State of Conservation (SOC),UNESCO, 1992|
|13||UNESCO, Periodic Report, Cycle 01|
|14||World Heritage Centre, UNESCO (whc.unesco.org/en/list/357)|